Yinka Olatunbosun

The show titled ‘And She Persevered,’ which opens on August 4 at Weave & Co Gallery, Moorhouse, Ikoyi is the second solo exhibition by Ronke Aina-Scott. As the title suggests, it is an exhibition with a body of works, telling the story of the African woman and her existential attributes. The show, which will be declared open by MD, Arise News Channel, Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, parades over 30 pieces of paintings and mixed-media expressions by the artist, who once worked as a graphic artist at a print media organisation before veering into the banking sector.

It’s interesting to discover that Aina-Scott is the only female artist showcased this year by the Ikoyi-based gallery. Since she left the banking job six years ago, she has embraced a life of a studio rat, waking up in the early hours of the morning to paint. For her, everyone who is passionate about something will be woken by the thought of it. The result of her restless nights was seen at the preview of her works recently.

The exhibition theme, And She Persevered is a visual journey of the life of women punctuated by the demands of motherhood such as pregnancy and delivery, parenting and wifely duties. Aina-Scott believes that consistency is the key to tacking challenges associated with one’s quest for success.

“If you are doing something consistently for 10,000 hours, definitely you will make a headway,” she explained in an exclusive interview. “That is 10 hours a day for 10 years. But the problem with us is that we try something, it doesn’t work out and we lose hope. If you believe in what you are doing, you have to continue.’’

Aina-Scott also loves to multi-task. She’s a horticulturist apart from being an artist. For her being a female artist is never easy with so much personal baggage to go with it. But the success stories of the likes of Njideka Akunyili-Crosby are inspiring. Aina-Scott was involved in a group exhibition in 2014, titled Pastiche, at Moorhouse where her paintings, mostly-Afrocentric, were displayed for the first time.

She admitted that she taps from African motifs and fabric designs to make her statement on canvas. It is also important to her to document fading indigenous structures in the urban Nigeria.

“I like to use my art to document history,” she added. “A time will come when technology and development will overtake them. As artists, we are supposed to preserve our culture. These are things we can also export. We need to let the world know how rich our culture is.”

Some of the works for the exhibition include “Glorious Homecoming’’, which is a portrayal of women radiating with the joy of harvesting. Aina-Scott compared that joy to that of a woman who safely delivers a baby. The work also holds some socio-economic relevance, hinging on women’s contribution to the home and the nation at large. Another piece, titled “Fashion Sense”, was done on the premise that African women are fashionable. It is a portraiture of a woman using the technique of pointillism.

One of her works which fuelled the conversation on contemporary women as breadwinners is titled “And She Provides”. Though the artist wasn’t trying to suggest that women should take on their husband’s responsibilities at the home front, the work certainly characterises the typical situation in many homes where husband and wives collaborate financially to sustain the family needs.
The show will run till August 17.